Friday, March 10, 2006

Na-ui gyeolhon-wonjeongki (Wedding Campaign)

Odd couple. Odd place.

Na-ui gyeolhon-wonjeongki (Wedding Campaign)
Starring Jung Jae-young (Welcome to Dongmakgol) / Yu Jun-sang (Tell Me Something) / Soo-ae (A Family)
Director Hwang Byung-guk

Who looks for love in Uzbekistan? Apparently, Korean farmers. Desperate Korean farmers. (There's a short spiel at the beginning of the movie which explains why there are illegal Korean immigrants --- known as Koryo, I think --- in a far-flung Eastern Europe country, so believe it.) Man-taek's (Jung) naivete in women starts out funny, but in an alien land with cold art deco gold-leafed edifices, it's heartbreaking. The general rule: farmers play the rich man card and the Koryo play along for a visa back to motherland. But Min-taek falls for his handler, a North Korean who wants to defect to the South. I know it sounds complicated and too soap opera-ish but in the hands of the brilliant Jung, Min-taek's unraveling is a mosaic of flaws and shy first-steps that refuse to be anything but a man stubbornly fighting for his last chance at true love. ****

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